Four-star offensive tackle Garrett Dellinger’s accustomed to clearing space and enabling the skill players at Clarkston (Mich.) High School to flourish.
Dellinger also cleared a path for his new school – LSU – to move into the nation’s Top 10 recruiting classes in the 2021 cycle, issuing a commitment to the Tigers over Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State on Wednesday during a seven-minute long video.
“I’ve always wanted to play the teams like Alabama, Auburn and Georgia,” Dellinger said. “I didn’t want to watch them but play against them and that’s the challenge I want to take. That would make grow not only as a person, but as a player.”
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Dellinger becomes the first offensive line prospect in LSU’s current recruiting class which now has a total of 12 pledges. The addition of Dellinger, the nation’s No. 79 overall prospect, No. 11 offensive lineman and No. 3 prospect in Michigan, pushed the Tigers from No. 13 to No. 9 in the latest 247Sports team rankings.
“I just had a good feel around them that I didn’t have anywhere else,” Dellinger said of LSU, which he visited on Nov. 23 and watched the Tigers defeat Arkansas, 56-20. “(LSU offensive line) Coach (James) Gregg, on the visit, I liked the way he interacted with me and my family and all the recruits. I could tell he was a coach that I could play for.
“Same thing for Coach O,” Dellinger said of LSU head coach Ed Orgeron. “He was really talking to me about football (on the visit) and I just wanted to go play for him right then and there.”
LSU continued to build off the luster of its national championship in assembling its current recruiting class which now has commitments from players from seven different states.
However, it was the second time in three years Cregg was able to spearhead the Tigers efforts and landed a prospect from Michigan where they signed Anthony Bradford of Muskegon in the Class of 2019.
Dellinger, whose older brother Matt is an offensive lineman at Kent State, is a three-year starter for Clarkston. He broke into his team’s starting lineup as a freshman where as a two-way starter on both offense and defense for a team that captured a state championship.
Dellinger was also a member of the school’s varsity basketball team which was won a state title during his freshman season. He suffered a torn labrum and didn’t play his sophomore year and chose not to play last season.
“You could tell when he came in as a freshman that he was going to be very special. He played like a three-year varsity player,” Clarkston head coach Kurt Richardson, a 43-year coaching veteran who’s guided the school to three state titles during his 33-year tenure. “Garrett has untapped potential. People see an offensive lineman but what they don’t realize is that how good of an athlete he is. He’s played basketball. He’s got great hands. He tells me all the time that he’s a tight end.”
Dellinger, who projects to play tackle in college after playing both guard and tackle in high school, will graduate early and enroll at LSU for the spring semester. His younger brother Cole, a 6-4, 250-pound sophomore, is a projected starter for Clarkston at offensive tackle this season.
The Detroit Free Press reported that LSU may not have finished recruiting the state of Michigan. The Tigers are in the final five for Dellinger’s OL teammate Rocco Spindler, who also has Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State and Notre Dame as his finalists.
He announced earlier this month on Twitter that he won’t be making a commitment “anytime soon.”